Waxing MDF Cross Cut Sled?

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Forum topic by tommyc325 posted 03-31-2015 03:56 AM 3247 views 0 times favorited 9 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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59 posts in 1956 days

03-31-2015 03:56 AM

Topic tags/keywords: jig question

Hi Everyone

I have a Cross cut sled that Im not happy with the “action” in pushing back and forth. It works fine but not as smooth as I would like it to be. Im figuring I can add some paste wax to the bottom of the sled and the runners but I wasn’t sure if you can apply paste wax to MDF.

Cross Cut Sled:
3/4” MDF Base (Its what I had laying around.)
Plastic Runners

Any suggestions would be appreciated.

9 replies so far

View TimberMagic's profile


114 posts in 1779 days

#1 posted 03-31-2015 04:10 AM

I made an MDF top for a workbench, CNC-milled with 20 mm holes to work like Festool’s MFT workbench. For a little protection, I applied some butcher block finish I had, which is a blend of mineral oil and wax. It left a nice smooth finish. You might want to give that a try. It was easily applied with a rag, and then just wiped well. The picture of it is on “My Workshop” page.

I specifically did not use straight wax since I didn’t want the mess of it needing to be wiped out of all the holes. A sled base would certainly be easier to apply and wipe off. Maybe try both on a scrap piece of MDF and see what you think works best.

-- Lee

View FirehouseWoodworking's profile (online now)


764 posts in 3874 days

#2 posted 03-31-2015 04:11 AM

Not sure how well the wax would work given that the MDF will soak up a lot of the wax. Wax may even cause some cupping which would ruin the sled.

Instead, you might want to think about putting a piece of laminate (e.g., Formica) on the bottom with contact cement. Just remove the runners, glue on the laminate, then reinstall the runners. The last step would be to seal the top and edges of the sled to keep moisture from causing any cupping. I used spray lacquer on mine and it remains flat after all these years.

Just a recommendation . . .


-- Dave; Lansing, Kansas

View Mykos's profile


103 posts in 2395 days

#3 posted 03-31-2015 04:16 AM

Yes. I put paste wax on the bottom of an MDF router sled and it worked just fine.

View ElChe's profile


630 posts in 1937 days

#4 posted 03-31-2015 04:24 AM

Wax the table saw top and the miter slots. Seal the MDF and wax it as well.

-- Tom - Measure twice cut once. Then measure again. Curse. Fudge.

View pjones46's profile


1001 posts in 3243 days

#5 posted 03-31-2015 04:26 AM

Apply the paste wax that does not contain silicones to the table top of saws, bandsaws and router tables as well as the MDF. As it wears you will have to reapply every so often.

-- Respectfully, Paul

View Robert's profile


3598 posts in 2081 days

#6 posted 03-31-2015 11:19 AM

I sealed mine first with boiled linseed oil (50/50 mix with turpentine) then a couple coats of shellac.
You could also use polyurethane or acrylic, but I had the shellac laying around so I used it.
It’s not as durable.

If you use BLO, give it a couple days to dry before sealing.

I waxed the bottom only once never had to do it again seems to work fine.

-- Everything is a prototype thats why its one of a kind!!

View Mike Gager's profile

Mike Gager

665 posts in 3868 days

#7 posted 03-31-2015 11:39 AM

johnsons paste wax works great for me. wax the top of the saw too

View Jim Finn's profile

Jim Finn

2780 posts in 3522 days

#8 posted 03-31-2015 12:57 PM

johnsons paste wax works great for me. wax the top of the saw too

- Mike Gager

What they said. I use Johnsons paste wax on my MDF jigs.

-- No PHD just a DD214 Lubbock Texas

View BinghamtonEd's profile


2298 posts in 2970 days

#9 posted 03-31-2015 01:45 PM

johnsons paste wax works great for me. wax the top of the saw too

- Mike Gager

Another supporter of this. I use Johnson’s paste wax on my jigs, and all of my tool tables. I’m not as religious as I should be in my upkeep of it, but it’s painfully obvious when I’ve let things go too long between waxing.

-- - The mightiest oak in the forest is just a little nut that held its ground.

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